The Northern Gila County Genealogical Society, which has been forced from borrowed building to borrowed building like a band of gypsies, has signed a lease that will provide the society with a stable home for up to 25 years.
Society officials have signed a 15-year lease with Manzanita Manor officials for a piece of property on the north edge of the nursing home compound near Longhorn Road.
The society, which has helped people trace their roots and track down family members here for more than 20 years, has agreed to pay $10 a year for the lease, which includes two, five-year renewal options. In exchange, the society will transfer ownership of a 1,400-square-foot building, which a local resident has offered to build on the property for free, to Manzanita Manor when the lease expires.
An architect is drafting plans for the 30-foot-by-48-foot genealogical library, society member Lettie Cale said. Once the plans are drafted, the society can apply for town building permits and move ahead with the project. A timeline for the project has not yet been set, she said.
The society is now trying to raise $10,000 to cover the town's building fees. To date, it has raised $7,000.
The society is sponsoring a genealogy seminar from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 13 at the First Assembly of God Church to raise money for the project.
The seminar will feature nationally known speaker Arlene Eakle, who will discuss "Basic Genealogy," "Tracing a Southern Pedigree," "Searching for Native American Heritage" and "Migrations from the Central United States."
The cost for the seminar, which includes lunch, will be $20 a person. Twenty percent of each ticket sale goes directly to the genealogical society. For reservations, call 474-2139 or 474-0747.